THE SINNERS ARE BACK – Reissue of the first in a sizzling rock-star romance series from USA Today bestselling author Olivia Cunning
It’s been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, The Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mo-jo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to re-ignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he’s found his heart’s muse, he doesn’t want to live without her?
There was another knock at the door. Brian stiffened and broke the contact between his lips and Myrna’s.
“Sheezus,” Brian muttered under his breath. “What?” he yelled at the door.
The door opened and Sed ducked his head in. “You busy?”
“I was about to get that way.”
“I think you’ve hogged the bedroom for long enough.”
“The other bus—”
“Trey’s occupied over there. Besides, you promised.”
“Yeah, I know.” He looked down at Myrna. “Let’s go get your car.”
She nodded, positioning her partially naked body behind Brian so that he blocked her from Sed’s view. “Just let me get dressed.”
“Two minutes.” Brian held up two fingers in Sed’s direction.
Sed closed the door. Brian pecked her on the cheek and retrieved her blouse from the floor.
“Sorry about that,” he said. “I promised him he could have the bedroom tonight. Of course, that was before I knew you’d be staying. Ah…shit.”
“It’s okay. We can just hang out. I’m fine with that.”
He smiled broadly. “Really? That sounds nice, actually.”
She slid into her blouse and skirt, buttoning and tucking as fast as she could. Brian pulled his T-shirt over his head. He reached for her hand and led her to the door. Exiting the room, they continued down the narrow hall, flanked on either side by bunks concealed behind curtains, and into the main room. Myrna counted eight people. Sed, three girls, Eric, and a few roadies.
“All yours, Sed,” Brian said.
Sed picked up the nearest girl, tossed her over his shoulder and headed down the hall toward the bedroom. The attractive young woman squealed in delight as he burst through the door and tossed her on the bed. The other two girls and Eric followed in their wake, excitement emanating from their bodies.
Myrna must have looked as stunned as she felt. Brian laughed at her expression.
“He’s always like that,” Brian said. “I’m surprised he didn’t just burst in on us earlier. It’s not like Sed to knock.”
“Sed’s reputation precedes him for a reason,” one of the roadies said. He could have passed as a member of the band himself. Tattooed. Dark hair. Sunglasses at night. Chains, piercings, and muscular.
“Who’s driving tonight, Travis?” Brian asked.
“I’ve got the truck. Matt the other bus. I think Dave’s driving this one.” He nodded at the normal looking blond guy to his left. Dave gave a curt nod.
Brian turned toward a third roadie, who was without a driving assignment. “Jake, would you do me a favor?”
“Anything,” he said without batting an eyelash.
“Myrna needs someone to drive her car to Des Moines.”
Jake smiled slyly. “I see. Sure, no problem.” Tall and slim, sporting a short mohawk hairstyle, he looked down at Myrna. “Where’s your car?”
“It’s out in the parking lot. I’ll go get it,” she said. “Should I just park it outside the bus and give you the keys?”
“That would be perfect. It isn’t some lame minivan, is it?”
“Erm… ’57 Ford Thunderbird convertible. I just had her restored to mint. You’ll be gentle, won’t you? I’m sort of protective of her.”
“Sweet,” Dave said. “I’ll trade you, Jake. You can drive the bus. I’ll take the Thunderbird!”
“Hell, no,” Jake said. “Brian asked me.”
“I must warn you that it’s pink,” Myrna interrupted.
“Pink? Aw, how could you do that to a classic car?” Jake said, running a hand over his forehead and mohawk.
She laughed. “I am a girl, you know.”
“I’m pretty sure everyone here recognizes that,” Brian said into her ear. Her entire body throbbed in response to his low voice.
“I’ve got no problem with pink,” Dave said, his blue eyes wide with eagerness. Dave looked like a clean-cut kid. Myrna wondered how long he’d been working with the band. Jake, on the other hand, looked wild. Based on looks alone, Myrna would prefer Dave drove her car, but she knew that wasn’t fair. The roadies all worked hard, and the band trusted them with expensive equipment and their lives. “Trade me, Jake. Come on, dude. You like to drive the bus and you know I hate it.”
“You two fight this out,” Brian said. “We need to go get the car before it’s time to leave. Is the truck loaded?”
“I suppose we should get to work,” Dave said.
“Whoever gets their equipment loaded first gets to drive the T-bird,” Jake said. He pushed open the bus door and headed down the stairs.
“Hey, that’s no fair,” Dave called after him. “I’m in charge of the drums! There are, like, a million of them!”
Jake’s voice grew more distant as he walked away from the bus, calling over his shoulder, “Yeah, but I’ve got amps in addition to Trey’s guitars. Quit complaining.”
“Let’s go,” Brian said.
“Wait,” she said. “I need my suit jacket. My keys are in it.”
He waited for her to put on her jacket, then took her hand in his and helped her climb down the steep steps to the pavement.
The crowd outside the barriers was thinner than earlier, but when Brian stepped off the bus, they emitted a loud cheer.
“Shit,” Brian said. “Um… Hold on a minute, okay?”
He kissed her on the temple. Several camera flashes went off. She wished people would stop snapping pictures of her with Sinners’ band members without her consent.
Brian headed for the crowd, starting at one end of the barrier fence and working his way down. He signed autographs, shook hands, offered the occasional hug, allowed his picture to be taken dozens of times and put up with a heck of a lot of groping from female fans. Myrna waited patiently, trying to curtail her jealousy. She knew this was important. His fans made his entire career possible. Still, she didn’t like all the touchy-feely young women rubbing up against him while he was distracted with signing an autograph or answering a question.
After about fifteen minutes, he offered a salute to the crowd and returned to Myrna’s side.
“I’ll have to go around the front of the bus and then sneak along the back side. Otherwise, they’ll see me again and we’ll never catch a break. You go between the buses and meet me on the other side. Pretend like we’re saying good-bye now.”
He hugged her with the same kind detachment he hugged enthusiastic fans, and waved at her slightly before turning in the opposite direction. She walked along the side of the bus facing the venue, watching the roadies pushing equipment out a door toward the large moving van parked next to the second tour bus. She glanced over her shoulder and then slipped between the two buses. Shouts of passion and pleasure came from the bedroom at the back of the bus as she walked behind it. She paused, glancing up at the window above her. Sed must be really working one of those girls over. She screamed Sed’s name at the top of her lungs. Myrna flushed, wondering how much of her earlier vocalizations had been overheard.
A hard body pressed her against the back of the bus. A hand groped her breast in the darkness. Her heart hammered in her chest. She struggled against the man, trying to twist away.
Jeremy. Oh God, he’s found me. How?
The man grabbed her wrist before she could connect a blow, and slammed the back of her hand against the bus next to her head. She opened her mouth to scream, but found a tongue shoved in her mouth. She knew this taste. Brian?
He’d scared her. Really scared her.
She shoved him away.
“What are you doing?” she said. “I thought I was being attacked.”
“You are,” he growled and crushed her body between his and the back of the bus.
When he tried to kiss her, she punched him in the stomach. “Stop it.”
“Ow. No one can see us.” Shadows completely obscured them.
He held her up against the bus with his body and released her wrist so he could push her skirt up around her waist. Though she knew he wouldn’t hurt her, her heart drummed faster and harder in her chest. She hit him as hard as she could in the arm. He paused. She couldn’t see his expression in the darkness, so didn’t know if he was getting the message.
“Do you really want me to stop, Myrna? I thought we could get in a quickie back here, since Sed has seized the bedroom.”
“Don’t sneak up on me like that. You scared the hell out of me.”
He pressed his fingertips to the center of her chest. “Your heart is really pounding, sweetheart. You knew it was me, didn’t you?”
“No,” she whispered. “I thought…I thought he…” She fought tears, feeling stupid. “It doesn’t matter what I thought. Just don’t ever do it again.”
He hugged her gently. “I’m really sorry, Myr. Forgive me?”
How could she stay mad at him? She knew she’d overreacted. Jeremy was out of her life for good. Sure, he was out of prison now, but he didn’t know where she was. Hell, he didn’t even know her name anymore. And this…this was Brian, not Jeremy. She liked Brian. Perhaps a bit too much, considering their short acquaintance.
Once she tackled her fear, she sought Brian’s mouth in the darkness and kissed him gently, a soft smile on her lips. “You’re wasting time. The buses will be leaving soon.”
About Olivia Cunning:
Raised on hard rock music, award-winning author Olivia Cunning has been known to travel over a thousand miles to see a favorite band in concert. She lives in Quincy, Illinois, where she enjoys sitting on the beach with her feet in the surf and penning naughty books about rock stars.